The Clear Law Institute serves as the external ethics and compliance officer for small and mid-size businesses.
All businesses face multiple laws and regulations with which they must comply. Companies typically take one of the following approaches:
- Put their head in the sand and remain unaware of their compliance obligations, hoping that an issue never arises
- Assign compliance responsibility to someone in the organization who typically has another job, such as an HR professional, who may not have any expertise in compliance matters
- Hire an ethics and compliance officer, hoping that the person has knowledge of all the various laws and regulations with which the company must comply.
The Clear Law Institute offers an alternative to these approaches. In essence, companies outsource oversight of their ethics and compliance responsibilities to Clear Law in the same way they might outsource their accounting, IT, or payroll function to specialists. A Clear Law attorney is assigned to serve as the External Compliance Officer for your organization. However, that person is not working alone but can rely on the experience and expertise of the entire Clear Law team to ensure your company complies with the various laws and regulations.
While a company can never delegate its responsibility for complying with the law, it can delegate responsibility for oversight of implementing an effective compliance program to external experts. The Clear Law External Compliance Officer service offers several advantages:
Instead of relying on a single individual within your organization to be knowledgeable of all the various laws and regulations with which your company must comply, the Clear Law Institute’s relies on a team of experts that have knowledge and experience of all of your organization’s compliance requirements. All of our experts are former U.S. Department of Justice, law firm, or corporate attorneys or compliance officers who have extensive experience in compliance matters.
Because our team serves multiple clients, we gain experience and “lessons learned” from one client that we can instantly apply to all clients.
Although your company will receive the collective expertise of several attorneys and compliance officers, the fee is less than what you would pay to hire a single ethics or compliance officer. Because we serve multiple clients, we don’t always have to reinvent the wheel for each new client. For example, when a new law is enacted, various policies and procedures may need to be developed or changed. However, once you do the work for one client, much of the same work will often be applicable to other clients. We concentrate our efforts on tailoring the policies and procedures to the nuances of each client’s needs.
Unlike a law firm, we don’t make money by billing by the hour. Instead, we provide clients a flat, predictable monthly fee for our services. Instead of trying to rack up time for each client, we focus on systems that capture all of the knowledge that we gain in doing work for one client in a way that it can be easily repurposed for other clients. In this way, all clients get better service but at a much cheaper price.
As several of the recent corporate scandals have illustrated, there can be value in having an ethics and compliance officer that has some level of independence from the organization.
Allowing Clear Law to serve as your external compliance officer allows your organization’s employees to focus on your company and their individual core competencies. In the same way you likely turn to external experts to handle your accounting, IT, or payroll functions, Clear Law’s team of external experts can oversee your compliance obligations.
What we do
Clear Law can oversee all—or if you choose, some—of the responsibilities typically provided by an internal ethics and compliance officer. Those include:
- Conducting and ethics and compliance assessment to determine your compliance requirements, taking into account factors such as your number of employees, the states and countries where you operate, your industry, whether you have government contracts, etc.
- Creating policies and ensuring that they are kept up to date with changes in the law
- Conducing a learning gap analysis to determine on which topics employees must receive training and communication materials
- Training employees on applicable ethics and compliance topics
- Providing a means for employees to report concerns or ask questions
- Investigating alleged misconduct
- Consulting with senior management, in-house counsel, HR, and other organization officials
- Making periodic reports to senior management on the state of the ethics and compliance program